In the world of Health & Safety (H&S), every year tens of thousands of firms receive claims for employer and public liability of which over 95% are successful. The cost to British business of over 1.1 million1

claims in

the last six years runs into £Billions. Yet most businesses are complacent and accept that paying out ever higher insurance premiums is a fact of doing business and believe that there is nothing they can do whatever insurance company they are with. The answer does not lay in changing insurer. Here’s a typical everyday example: A can of oil is dropped on the

floor, the top comes off and there is a resulting trip/slip hazard from the spilt oil. The production manager follows his staff training and risk assessments and has the spillage moped up and the area marked off with warning cones. A full clean will take place during the normal factory clean that evening. A few hours later a potential customer is being conducted around the factory, fails to take note of the cones and warnings and walks through the area while talking on their mobile phone. Loss of attention and the prospect slips, falls awkwardly because their hands are occupied with the phone and breaks a leg. An incident report is filled in and an ambulance called. Two years later the company receives a public liabilities damages claim from the injured party’s solicitors, a NWNF (No Win No Fee) law team. The claim is passed to the company’s insurers who ask what evidence is available. This comprises the accident book, the standard risk assessment and staff training record and the fact the firm has an almost clean accident book. Unfortunately, the law, H&S legislation duty of care, the Contributory Negligence Reform Act and The Sentencing Council 2016 Guidelines on mitigating and aggravating conditions, want more than this. Unlike a normal defendant the company’s “innocent until proven

guilty” position is reversed and is considered 100% guilty. Any hint at the claimant’s contributory negligence has to be backed up by the defending company producing evidence and its position of having been aware of the hazard and taken preventative measures needs specific evidence relating to this particular occasion. The accident book is a record made after the event so will not be enough. If the H&S manager didn’t make any records at the time the hazard was first noticed and the preventative measures put in place, then here is no evidence, so the claim succeeds, the insurer pays out, providing their conditions have been met, and the premiums go up. So what’s the solution? As soon as a hazard is seen take the

appropriate action and make a note. Don’t use a piece of paper, or even a word document or spreadsheet. Have a database, something like Microsoft ACCESS or MYSQL. The entry in the log can be automatically date and time stamped. The record will be easily found with a couple of mouse clicks and can produce reports covering many years to show that your firm is always hazard aware, assesses the individual specific situations and takes timely appropriate preventative action. This is not costly to achieve, takes little time to do and helps keep H&S in everyone’s mind. Upon receiving a claim, send a report of your hazard awareness log

or diary to your insurer, so they can see you have the necessary evidence. Ask them to send it to the claimant’s NWNF law team who will realise you’re no push over, and the amount of work they will have

to do, and the high risk of losing, will probably make them climb down. 1

The Department of Work & Pensions’ Compensation Recovery Unit

web site performance data.


BOLÇİ Bolu Chocolate produces over 200 tons of chocolate items each month, with over 800 product varieties and 300 employees. The BOLÇİ Bolu factory covers an area of 20,000 square metres, half of which is the production area, warehouses and additional departments. BOLÇİ needed to meet its promise of delivering chocolate products

that are ‘untouched by human hands’. Omron and Innovas joined forces to commission a line of three Omron robots in the packaging section of the factory’s production line, with the aim of enhancing production quality, capacity and efficiency, and reducing labour costs. Prior to introducing the Omron robots, the chocolates were placed

manually into dividers in the packaging area. However, the company faces seasonal variations in demand and as a result, sales fluctuate on a daily basis and production levels need to adjust accordingly. Before the robots were commissioned, Innovas, the system

integrator, analysed the filling time for the different dividers that would be used when the line of robots was established. Innovas looked at the production capacity required and the range of

products to be used. Based on the results, the company developed the robot application in conjunction with Omron, while also embracing the importance of BOLÇİ developing a culture of working alongside the robots. The type of products on the production line vary and BOLÇİ required

the variations to be arranged rapidly in the same style of box. Omron therefore suggested its four-arm Quattro robot. This model was selected due to its speed and flexibility, as well as its ability to cope with the variety of products. Omron subsequently recommended its

PackXpert programme. Omron has brought its

innovations, including its robots, together in the form of i-Automation! – a concept based on developing the intelligent, integrated and interactive automation systems of the future. These systems will help manufacturers to achieve higher levels of efficiency, flexibility, safety, integration, quality and connectivity. The robots pick and place the chocolates into the dividers, saving

time and minimising the amount of labour required. The three robots work in sync with each other as part of an integrated system that includes visual inspection, safety and the robotic systems. The new robots have resulted in a 40% increase in production

capacity and a 20% workforce saving. They have also enabled BOLÇİ to provide shorter deadlines to its customers. In addition, the company has been able to re-route the savings in manpower to non-automated areas of the factory. In the future, BOLÇİ plans to increase its production capacity by

extending the number of Omron robots it uses on the existing line, and implement similar projects that can comply with Industry 4.0 principles.

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